Tripping on Tiger Style (Short Story)

tiger style short story fractal

Tiger Style is fierce and aggressive, with powerful strikes and fast attack combos. There is no waiting, and little defense in this style. Opponents of the Tiger Style are often intimidated and overwhelmed. 

Jay was a garden-variety modern-day hippie. He literally hung out in gardens and other secluded spots where no one would notice the smell of the illegal substances he was inhaling. While his friends had moved on to more productive things like education and careers, Jay was stuck as an aimless deadbeat frequenting the shady spots of his neighbourhood. His parents were rich and Jay himself was comfortable leeching off his inherited wealth, so his habits made no difference to anyone.

Today, Jay was to meet up with Tony and a deal was to go down. This was usually a routine transaction between the two; Tony had a knack for getting his hands on all kids of drugs- psychotropics, psychedelics, prescription, uppers, downers and any other kind that existed – both common and rare, and Jay had a knack for trying new things. Jay trusted Tony to hook him up with the best stuff, and he had never been disappointed. The last time the two met, Tony had waxed eloquent about a psychedelic called Tiger Style. The story went that this drug was extracted from the adrenaline gland of a tiger, but Tony confided in Jay that it was simply a story meant to jack up the price.

“Between you and me, off-the-record, it’s extracted from shrooms, man, like acid”, Tony informed Jay. He did this partly because Jay was a seasoned tripper who knew to be vary about drugs with outlandish backstories and partly because he knew Jay’s vegan lifestyle wouldn’t let him score any drug that came from, or was tested on, an animal.

“All natural yo, totally organic. Hell of a trip too. All your states are altered and you see GOD”, Tony said, flashing a huge smile. Both of them burst out laughing and high-fived, but Jay was now a little anxious. Tony was no less of a tripper and Jay knew that he wouldn’t make a statement like that unless the trip was intense with a capital I.  Intrigued, Jay said he’ll take one.

A couple of nights later, Jay got a stamp of Tiger Style from Tony. It was just a small piece of blotter paper, without any fancy designs. Tony had warned him not to eat the whole thing at once, but Jay had heard the same warning too many times by now to pay any heed. He drove to a nearby hill all alone and trekked up for two hours. It was the day of the Festival of Lights and Jay wanted no part of the firecracker pollution. He found a huge tree to slump down under and started chewing on the blotter. Then, he rolled a joint to pass the time till it kicked in. The only company he had was a stray dog called Kanye which he had befriended during his many visits to the hill.

An hour later, while Jay was tripping on the fireworks, thinking about how each colour is produced by a different chemical, he noticed a bright green light from the corner of his eye. Kanye started barking ferociously and Jay quickly turned to look for the light source. When he saw what looked like a spaceship the size of a bus, his first thought was that the trip was kicking in. He quickly tried taking a picture with his phone, but he couldn’t keep his hands steady enough for a clear shot. He tried calling Tony, but the letters on his contact list were warped and spinning in a spiral pattern. All of a sudden, the spaceship’s door fell open. A blinding white light came from inside.

It took Jay’s eyes a couple of seconds to adjust and when they did, he saw some kind of being standing in the middle of the doorway. At once, a thousand thoughts rushed through his head about what this creature could be.

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck is it a Predator really hope it’s not one of those things from Alien I can’t deal with a fucking headcrab right now what the fuck is this thing should I run?? Fuck there’s nowhere to hide!! Is this God?? Is this what Tony was talking about?? What if it takes me to another planet man fuck I don’t want a probe up my-“

Before he could complete the thought, Jay’s eye adjusted and he could see the creature’s actual form. It was eight-foot tall and looked like a giant, hairless teletubby. Jay didn’t know whether to be relieved or even more scared. Then he noticed the gun it was carrying; so, he went with ‘even more scared’ and pissed himself. Kanye was still barking and took an aggressive stance against this interplanetary intruder.

“What the fuck are you, man?”, Jay whispered in a trembling voice, taking a gamble that the creature might speak English. Kanye leapt up to attack the creature, but with one pull of the trigger, he was turned into a charred carcass.

“Noooooooooooooooooooo! Why? Why? Why?”, Jay screamed out as the smell of burnt flesh crept up his nose, making him almost throw up. He looked up at the alien with an expression of disgust and sadness.

“Relax”, a soothing voice said to Jay, even though he definitely didn’t see the creature’s mouth move. “That thing was about to attack me. Do you realize I’d have had to travel back 25 light years just to get a band-aid if that thing had bit me?”, the creature said and burst out laughing. The sight of an eight-foot tall hairless teletubby laughing its ass off frightened Jay more than the time his dad almost found his porn folder. “Please don’t kill me, man”, Jay pleaded.

“I’m a scientist, for God’s sake! My race is intellectually advanced. We’re not some savage hunters like those invisible things with dreadlocks.”, the alien telepathically told to Jay.
“You believe in God too?”, Jay asked, surprised.
“Of course! We found him dead a while back back. Poor guy. Committed suicide”, the alien replied, shaking its head with pity. It then went on, “You see, he had two pet projects- us and you guys. He had many more of course, but none of them flourished like we did. For the longest time we thought we were alone in this universe, but when we found out about you guys, we had to pay a visit!”
Jay, right now, was trying to figure out how the creature was able to use a condescending tone every time it said “you guys” even while communicating telepathically. But he couldn’t figure it out.
“So we landed here around a hundred thousand of your years back and saw these weird things still trying to understand fire. We laughed and left, but then reports started coming in that you guys have managed to create nuclear explosions.  I gotta tell you, we couldn’t believe it was first. It happened in a snap compared to us. So, I’m just here for a regular survey, cause we’re beginning to think that you guys might kill us if we don’t kill you firs-“
“I think I’ve said too much”, the creature said while slowly raising its gun up to Jay's face.
Jay jumped aside like a startled cat.
“No no no no don’t worry I’m not gonna tell anyone! No one would believe me even if I did!”, Jay tried to reason. “Didn’t you just say you’re intellectually advanced? What about peace, love and unity? Isn’t that the true mark of intelligence?”
“No, doing everything to survive is. Remember what you guys did to the Neanderthals? That was clever. We’re just doing the same to you, or thinking about it anyway”, the creature shrugged, still pointing its gun at Jay.
“No, please don’t. Try this, it’ll help you chill out and see things my way”, Jay said while offering it a joint he had rolled before the spaceship landed.
“How do I know you’re not trying to poison me?”, the creature replied. Jay promptly lit the joint and took a couple of puffs. “Your turn”, he said while passing the joint.

The alien accepted the joint suspiciously and examined it from every angle. It then took a five or six long drags and exhaled almost nothing. A couple of moments passed. “I need to sit”, it said and sat down under the nearby tree. Jay slowly sat beside it, wary that it still had a tight grip on the gun. After a long silence, the alien started speaking again, “Maybe you’re right, man. You guys are so pathetic; you’ll probably kill yourselves before you even find out about us. Why am I wasting my time travelling here when I could be spending these precious moments with my family or doing something more productive?  This whole thing is pointless, man.”

With that, the alien got up and started walking towards its spaceship. Before getting in, it turned to Jay and looked him in the eyes. “Seriously though, don’t tell anyone”, with these parting words, the door closed and the spaceship took off, becoming smaller and smaller till it blended in with the stars. Jay breathed a sigh of relief and lied down clutching his head. “That was some fuckin’ trip”, he thought to himself and quickly fell asleep, exhausted from all the drama.

When he woke up the next morning, Jay found himself trying to recall and comprehend the events of the previous night. He checked the pictures on his phone, but they were all dark and hazy. He looked around and everything seemed peaceful. There were no signs of a spaceship landing and no one had come up to investigate strange occurrences. He checked his pants and they were still a bit moist from having pissed himself. Everything else seemed normal, till Jay noticed Kanye’s burnt remains.



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